GENERAL HEALTH EFFECTS OF SMOKING
Smoking harms your body in many different ways. It damages the immune system and increases the risk of infections. Smokers tend to be less healthy than nonsmokers.
Many illnesses in smokers last longer than in nonsmokers, and smokers are more likely to be absent from work because of illnesses, and are more likely to require longer hospitalizations than nonsmokers.
Smokers have a greater risk of complications and have a lower survival rate after surgery because of damage to the body's defenses. They are at increased risk of infections, pneumonia, and other respiratory complications.
As you age, your bones become less dense, leading to a greater risk of hip fracture. The bone density of smokers tends to be lower than that of nonsmokers.
Smoking causes peripheral artery disease that can affect the blood flow throughout the entire body. In peripheral artery disease, the arteries that supply blood to the legs are narrowed by atherosclerosis .
Although atherosclerosis is more commonly thought of as a heart disease, it can affect arteries anywhere in the body, including those in the legs and brain. Healthy arteries are strong, flexible and elastic, and the inner walls are smooth, allowing blood to flow freely through them to nourish tissues and organs.
Smoking causes many types of cancer, which is the second leading cause of death among Americans. It is responsible for one of every four deaths in the United States. Each year more than half a million Americans, more than 1,500 people a day, die of cancer.
Cancer was one of the first diseases linked to smoking. In 1964, the first Surgeon General's report on smoking and health concluded that smoking causes lung cancer. In later years, the list of diseases linked to smoking has grown.
To understand more about the diseases caused by smoking, choose the specific organ systems you would like to explore further.